STORIES from a missionary: Megan Aucoin

2.10.2015 |

matthew 28:19 says " go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  Megan recalls her travels to Northern Ireland -as a new christ-follower- where her eyes were immediately opened to the hurt around the world. Read her story below:

I honestly never saw myself as an overseas missionary, the thought actually scared me quite a bit. One day I was in my counselor's office and she asked me if I had ever been interested in a mission trip.  I thought to myself, “But I’m just a new believer, I don’t know that much about the Word, I don't know if I could do this.”  After looking on the internet and researching organizations for mission trips, I fell in love with Northern Ireland.  When you think of somewhere like Ireland you don’t really think there would be a lot going on there, but I read up on some of the history and it amazed me.  After many years of turmoil between Catholicism and Protestants (called The Troubles), there were many people who were very bitter toward a God who “couldn’t be so loving if He let this happen.” Ireland had been put on my heart, and I wanted to reach the people hurting there. In 2011, I heard the Lord tell me “Go,” so the Lord provided through Global Expeditions and I went.  
We went to a town called Portadown, where we joined with a church called Drumcree.  With the church, we led a vacation bible school with the young children of the church, we built a coffee shop out of an old building in the middle of town, and we did street evangelism.  The people in Ireland were so welcoming and some of the nicest people I have ever met.  In Ireland there are many issues people face: alcoholism, drug addiction, self-harm and suicide rates.  Ireland is made up of a very young population, meaning all of these addictions and problems start at very young ages.  Throughout the cities there are beautiful churches.  We were told most of these churches had a congregation of about 30 people now and most of the youth were not interesting in attending church.  Most churches we would point out and ask about had been turned into skateboard parks on the inside and were where many youth would go to drink and do drugs.  This was very eye opening for me and a scary thought too.  What if those churches thrived again? Would the alcoholism and drug addiction be less likely? What about suicide rates? Would those struggling with their worth once again find that there is a God that finds them precious and can give their life meaning again? 
As we led vacation bible school I noticed every time the kids would get up and run around and play during free time there would be a girl sitting in the corner just watching them play.  One day I went and sat by her and began talking.  She was one of the sweetest girls I had ever met, her name was Brooke.  Brooke had muscular dystrophy which caused her to be in severe pain, causing her to miss school on most occasions and she couldn't do some things with the other children.  One day after Brooke and I had become close, I talked to her about many things and I prayed for her.  I helped her get to the restroom one day and she looked in the mirror and said “I am ugly, aren't I?” I was so shocked because I wasn't really expecting her to say something like that.  I also began to feel tears well up in my eyes because the way she looked in the mirror I could tell she really meant those words.  I told her you are the daughter of a King.  You were made in the Lord’s image and you are beautiful.  I sat there and talked to her about her worth in the Lord and how beautiful she is .  As we walk out of the bathroom she grabs my hand, looks at me and says “Megan, I am beautiful.” I was so overjoyed to hear her say those words. For me this moment hit very close to home, I think this story could hit home with a lot of young girls.  I mean, who is to set the standard of beauty? We have so many things in this world, such as media, telling us to change everything about ourselves causing us to be on a never-ending chase for “beauty”.  But just like Brooke, you were made in the Lord’s image, you are beautiful.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. -Psalm 139:14
When I say we built a coffee shop, I mean this in the most literal sense.  We cleaned out an old shop, put up walls and brought in tables and chairs for people to sit.  I also learned, if you want anyone to show up to something, just bring coffee.  After the coffee shop was set up, a few people came in at a time and we would sit and talk to them about the Lord and hear their stories.  One man came into the shop intoxicated, one of my friends went up to him and started talking to him.  He was a homeless man who drowned his days with alcohol.  Im not sure that he really knew where he was, as he was trying to leave my friend took a piece of paper out of her notebook, wrote the verse John 3:16 on it and put it in the man’s jacket pocket.  Although we did not find much out about this man, we knew that he needed the Lord.  I constantly think back to him and pray that he found that piece of paper in his pocket and it planted a seed.  

While doing street evangelism I learned many things about the people of Ireland.  One thing that really stuck out to me was, much of the youth had no idea what they believed.  We had this pamphlet that we would ask questions from and one of the questions we would ask if someone said they didn't necessarily believe in God.  The question was, do you think human life is any more significant than animal or plant life? Many times we would get the answer no.  To me it was very sad that most of these people did not believe that our lives were no more significant than our dogs, cats, or the grass in our front yards.  Think about this for a second, we have the will to learn, to think for ourselves, and ultimately change the world.  But to some of these people, we weren't any more significant than animals and plants.  This deeply saddened me and I became more and more thankful for the Lord I serve and the free will He gives me.  
The people of Ireland needed to know that even through the chaos of the Troubles, there is still a God who reigns. A God who is in control and a God who is able.  A God who watches over them and even when it doesn't seem like it, He has His hand in every situation of these peoples lives.  A God who still loves them despite their rebellion.  He is a God of love, and of order, not chaos. A God that is still in the business of redemption because He loves us. I think the people we came in contact with had seen so much in their lives they refused to believe that God could be loving., but what they needed to understand was the mystery of grace and forgiveness our Lord provides each one of us.  
While in Ireland, we had about 50 people accept Christ into their lives, what a beautiful moment for those!  I pray everyday that their lives are still being transformed by Christ and that they will find encouragement in even the hardest times.  

Isaiah 43: 1-3  says “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.  When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

to learn more about Global Expeditions, please click HERE.

up next: Justin Chades discusses his passion in pursuing people of all nation's through his trip to India. 

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